- Leicester City beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday night
- A double from Shinji Okazaki and goals from Riyad Mahrez and Andy King sealed a fourth straight win
- The Foxes strengthen their hold on eighth position in the Premier League table
- Manager Claude Puel praised the intensity his team showed to go 3-0 up in the first half
Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring with a stunner before further strikes from Shinji Okazaki and Andy King made it 3-0 going into the break on a night that saw the manager make three changes to his side.
Maya Yoshida sparked hopes of a comeback for the home side with a header from Ryan Bertrand’s corner but Okazaki added a second to make it 4-1 to the Foxes on Puel’s first return to his former club.
The victory keeps City in eighth position in the Premier League table – four points ahead of Watford in ninth and four adrift of Arsenal in seventh.
Afterwards, Puel reflected: “It’s a good thing to win away with quality against a good team. It was important to start with fantastic intensity. The first half was really positive with fantastic play and fantastic goals.
“It was important in the second half to keep this level and prevent the opponent from coming back into the game. Perhaps at the beginning of the second half we tried to manage the game a little by keeping the ball in our half of the pitch. It was key then to play forward and score another goal with Shinji Okazaki. It was a good game but we want to try to continue this work.
“It was a strange feeling to come back here and it was nice to see familiar faces. I kept a good relationship with players and staff but for me it was important to keep my concentration on Leicester City.”
Okazaki, King and Christian Fuchs all came into the team for the match and Puel was delighted to see performance levels continue to reach the high levels set in recent weeks.
On Okazaki’s display, Puel added: “I’m happy with Shinji. The other players like Shinji too because he always gives his best. He scored two goals tonight and it’s fantastic for him, but I’m happy for all the players. We made some changes and at the start of a busy period, it’s important to keep players fresh. To get a good performance was great and we want to continue this level.”
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